Michelle McCranor

I discovered a love for trail running 10yrs ago. In 2001 our daughter was stillborn and I struggled mentally for years to find peace, to stop blaming myself, to stop the fake smiles. When I took my running off-road everything seemed so much clearer and I became physically and mentally fitter.

On the 9th August 2001 our daughter Celeste was born sleeping, she was perfect, and our world was changed forever. A scan at 21 weeks revealed I was having blood flow problems through the placenta, later to be diagnosed with Uteroplacental Vascular Disease due to having a blood clotting condition when pregnant (a condition I had again during my pregnancy with Luke). Celeste was smaller as a result but there were still no indications as to what would develop over the next few months. I was monitored weekly, had steroid injections to speed up her lung development and given low dose aspirin to thin my blood.

Just over 7 months I was admitted to hospital for bed rest after developing pre-eclampsia, a few weeks later I went into labour and Celeste passed away during birth. It was heartbreaking for us, some of it a blur, but I will always remember how quiet it was.

I struggled silently for a few years even after our son Luke was born the following year, and it wasn’t through lack of family support, I had plenty, but grief is a unique process and triggers can vary.

Ten years ago, I discovered a love of trail running, it started as a way to lose weight gained from depression but gradually it developed into an escape from my feeling of loss. It gave me the peace I had been searching for if only for an hour. As time went on I just started to run further and soon I noticed that being able to do this regularly I was not only getting physically healthy but mentally too. There is not one run that I do not think about Celeste and how out of grief and depression I have developed strength.

So I decided with turning 50 this year I wanted to run 50kms on the trails on my birthday (1st November) in memory of Celeste and raise funds for The Stillbirth Foundation Australia whose mission is to significantly reduce the incidence of stillbirth through research, education and advocacy. https://light-a-candle-in-memory.everydayhero.com/au/mccranor-family

1 in 135 babies will be stillborn, 6 babies every day in Australia. I thank you in advance for your generosity and your love.